Sleepers and insurance [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Sleepers and insurance

9th September 2002, 02:47 PM
Am I right in thinking that most people who go down this route forget to advise their insurance company? I hope it never happens, but if I hit someone & have not told my insurance co, I could loose everything , including my house if they void the policy. Guess most people with a Max Power'ed Nova's have few other assets.

Cheapest quote I got on a 310 BHP 9000 Aero was 1200 (all mods done by Abbott), so God knows what a bespoked modded vehicle with more power would be.

9th September 2002, 05:18 PM
For me it would depend on the mods and the level of insurance I wanted.

With third party or third party fire & theft I wouldn't bother telling them about any mods. By law, regardless of what you have told them, you are legally covered against third party risks if you take out a policy with you even if they find out that you lied. In other words, as far as the old bill are concerned, you are legal. With TPF&T, since few cars are recovered if stolen or identifiable in detail if set alight, you should get away with it (they will only void your policy + not pay up if they find out). If you have an accident where you are not responsible then you must recover your losses from the third party's insurance company and it is none of their business what you have done to your car.

The whole point of comp vs TPF&T is that you want to get your money back if you have an accident where you are at fault. However, insurance companies send out assessors who, in my experience, have highly variable levels of knowledge about cars. If they spot mods then you will be in trouble and the underwriter might decide not to cover you. You could appeal on the grounds that it made no material difference to the accident but you are on difficult ground here. In other words, my advice is don't mod the car in an obvious way if you are going the fully comp way and want to insure the care on the basis that it is unmodded.


10th September 2002, 03:12 AM
Interesting - I might ponder about third party next year. I guess that the assessors are rather less likely to put a fine tooth comb over a 9000 than an Impreza etc.

10th September 2002, 08:58 AM
Well, the inspections are usually very brief and the primary aim in most cases is to assess whether the insurance company is being ripped off by the garages who have offered the quotes to fix the car (if fully comp) rather than trying to spot mods.

I would doubt very much, for example, that an assessor could spot a 3" exhaust. After all, how many Aeros does he come across every month and how likely is it that he can remember the diameter. The same is even truer for ECU mods.

Even if they do see mods they may very well not mention them.


10th September 2002, 01:07 PM
I declared my 3" exhaust to my insurer just in case. I doubt they'd notice the rest. However, I recently got a quote from a specialist insurer for my Aero with 3" exhaust, Abbott suspension and 275hp ECU upgrade. Current premium is 650 (will probably go up next time - they always do) and I was quoted 1200 with the mods. I'll ring them again and see what is making it so high (apart from the 275hp!) and if there is anything I can do to reduce it. I'll also try a couple of others.

10th September 2002, 01:27 PM

The cheapest quote I had was from Hill Hammond's specialist performance section. All they were interested in was BHP increase as a percentage, from memory. 1200 for 310BHP wasn't bad considering that was fully comp. I park my car in the street, have 2*3 points for speeding, have two recent claims (including one stolen writeoff on a nearly new vehicle), I live in a fairly high risk postcode and I am only 33.

You can cheat a little by insuring you car on a classic policy if you limit the mileage, garage it, it is your second car and you are over 30. For example, I pay 487 for my modified Elise (new head, enlarged inlet manifolds, ITG air induction & sports exhaust) with four named drivers through AON.


10th September 2002, 04:19 PM
650 sounds like a hell of a lot if this is the cost without mods declared. I pay 390 fully comp with Egg (car on street in central Bath, no convictions, 8 yrs no claims and age 32).

I've just ordered a full 3" system and stage 3 ECU from Speedparts through Elkparts and will have to think seriously about what I'll do regarding declaring the mods...


10th September 2002, 05:50 PM
Strikes me if the underwriter notices a mod it's more likely to be the shiny Forge dump valve than the Speedparts ECU inside the false bulkhead. Now where's my big pot of matt black paint... :lol:

10th September 2002, 05:53 PM
Direct Line originally quoted 550. It went up 100 when I told them about the exhaust and that I needed cover for business use. I suspect the business use was free, though.

I'll speak to Egg, Hill Hammond and AON, though.

I'm 38, no points, full no-claims (probably 10 years or so) and the car is garaged. I know the St. Albans postcode down the road is fairly highly rated, but I don't know whether there is anything special about mine.

The 1200 quote was from Greenlight. Bubbles has his 9000 insured there for an awful lot less. However, I don't think his premium has caught up with his latest mods yet. If it really is tied in with percentage horsepower increase, then the 275hp I declared would be something to do with it.

I thought about classic car insurance for the Aero now I have the CSE as well.

10th September 2002, 06:03 PM
Just checked Egg for online quote on a standard '96 Aero, manual. 505. I must live in a higher risk area than you, Alan.

Yes, a quick move to 1 Bridge Road, BATH, BA2 1AA (number and postcode pulled out of the air) drops it by about 40. Still doesn't explain everything, though.

Ah, and I can save 30 by insuring your '94 instead of my '96.

But if I go for TPFT, then it drops to 383. Hmm, that's the first company I've found where it makes any difference worth having.

11th September 2002, 03:43 AM
Yes, I also got 10% off for using my Egg card and I found some special introductory code (which I think I posted the details of on Saabscene) for another reduction. Varying the excess can also save you some squids.


11th September 2002, 05:14 AM
The 1200 quote was from Greenlight. Bubbles has his 9000 insured there for an awful lot less. However, I don't think his premium has caught up with his latest mods yet.

Of course the other factor Bill will be that the Aero started off life at least a group higher than my "bog standard" CS 2.3T. It may also be that I'm now getting a loyalty discount. And I opted for a 300 excess.

It also depends on what type of business use you ask for... I have Class 1 for occasional use travelling to suppliers premises, which doesn't load things too much.

11th September 2002, 01:28 PM
Wow, my 800+ for this year is a lot, then. I shopped round to get this quote too. Hopefully, next year will be cheaper when I loose one insurance claim and one set of points. By the way, the insurance claims were not my fault, but due to thieving w@nkers.

Alan, how much did you pay for the exhaust & ECU from Elkparts? Also, what is the score with the ECU - is it done on an exchange basis? I assume that I need to call Julian to discuss.


11th September 2002, 05:28 PM

Cost is 800 incl delivery for ECU+complete exhaust system incl cat and foam intake filter. You have to pay 200 on top of this for excahnge ECU. When you send back your old ECU you get the 200 refunded.


11th September 2002, 06:25 PM
I just found out something else today. I assumed the Aero's VSS security system wasn't Thatcham-approved. However, I asked Viking Saab while I was waiting for them to do my complimentary oild and filter change (anyone else had the card through the post from Saab GB?) and they looked it up for me.

Apparently, it's Thatcham category 2 approved, which if memory serves me correctly refers to an immobiliser device. If anyone's interested, the approval number is TE 2-212/0696. Is the "0696" a date code, in which case earlier cars won't have the same approval, or was VSS not offered before '96?

Hmm... the handbook for my CSE (MY95) describes a similar alarm system, but doesn't mention VSS and the immobiliser cuts the fuel pump, ignition and starter rather than disabling the engine management system. It does sound like it was also designed for Thatcham approval, having three separate immobiliser circuits, but it wouldn't be the same approval number if it's not the same system.

Anyway, I digress...

Perhaps I'll see what difference that makes to quotations. Maybe by then I'll also have "discovered" that my car isn't quite as powerful as was claimed. :wink:

12th September 2002, 03:40 AM
Well, Bill what you say is very important because I'm ordering the upgraded ECU and I assumed that my '95 has VSS. I have the Saab remote buttons on my key fob which unlocks/alarms/immobilises(?). The car also has a little red light on the speaker grill on the dash. It's all original Saab stuff but I think it might have been an optional extra. How do I find out if I have VSS?


12th September 2002, 03:53 AM

Is the only difference between stage 2 and 3 the sports cat? The speedparts website suggests that you get another 12bhp with stage 3. Very good prices - the stage 2 kit is chaper than Abbotts Trionic upgrade!!

12th September 2002, 07:17 AM
Alan, the best thing to do would be to ask Saab or ask whoever is supplying the ECU. For example, Maptun will know from the part number on your original ECU. My '95 handbook shows the same Saab remote keyfob and lists the same LED behaviour and other features, but differs in its description of immobilisation, which I think is the important part.

When immobilised, my starter will turn, but the engine will not fire (or will fire briefly, then die). From what I understand, this is the VSS function where the ECU must be specifically enabled by the security module.

From my '95 handbook, I understand that one of the immobilised circuits is the starter and another is the ignition. Does your starter turn when immobilised? Does the engine fire at all (indicating that the ignition is working)?

The starter is not controlled by the Trionic ECU.

Jeremy, I don't know a lot about the Speedparts offerings. However, the difference between the Maptun Stage 1 and Stage 2 Aero upgrades is the JT exhaust system (including cat). The software in the ECU is different too, so you're not just seeing the difference between Stage 1 without the JT system and Stage 1 with the JT. The Stage 2 ECU can produce higher power levels safely because of the reduced exhaust gas temperatures produced with the JT exhaust.

I don't know how this compares with the Speedparts solutions.

12th September 2002, 10:02 AM
Sorry this topic is starting to lose me now. I have a 97 cse which has the saab alarm/immobiliser, my engine starts but immediately dies when the immobiliser is enabled, is mine Thatcham approved?

ps Billj, how many 9000cs do you need?! :wink:

12th September 2002, 10:12 AM
Dunno, Ken.

See the following link:
It won't tell you if you have VSS, but it states that VSS was Thatcham 1.

Your immobiliser does behave like my VSS though. Saab should be able to tell you which options were shipped with your car.

And you can't have too many 9000s. Especially silver ones :wink:

12th September 2002, 04:30 PM

Sorry to bother you but this is important since the order with speedparts will be going out very soon and I've told them that I have vss fitted.

I may sound like a complete idiot but wouldn't the alarm go off if I unlocked the car with the key and tried to start it? Are you saying that I should sit in the car with the alarm going off and try to start it?

I have the 95 owner's manual and on pg 55 is says 'When the anti-theft alarm has been set off, the car cannot be started as the starter motor, thefuel pump and the engine management system are disconnected'

Does this help make things clearer?


12th September 2002, 05:36 PM
Nope. If you take the key out of the ignition and wait 30 seconds, VSS will immobilise the car and the LED will give a repeated double-flash. The car should now be immobilised. Wish the &*@%ing salesman had told me that before I drove the car away!

Alternatively, unlock the car with the remote but don't put the key in the ignition for three minutes. This should also immobilise the car.

If neither of these immobilises the car, then you probably don't have VSS. If they do, then you can try to start the car to see what functions are interfered with.

Also, the Thatcham data suggests that VSS was available on the 9000 (and standard on the Aero) from September '95, although the first 9000s with VSS might not have been registered until a bit later than this.

Your description from the handbook does sound as though you don't have the same system as I do. It sounds like our '95s both have the same handbook (which is to be expected).

I take it you haven't sent your original ECU to Speedparts, then. Can you contact them and give them the part number of your original ECU? You would need to remove the aquarium cover and slide the box out of its mounting. The part number and serial number are printed on a label on the side.

12th September 2002, 06:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I will immobilise the car to see what it does. No, I haven't sent the original ECU to speedparts. They did request the ECU part, serial nos and did ask whether it had vss though. I hope that they can tell from the part no.

This is obviously a grey area since even if I don't have your system I'm not convinced that it doesn't interact with the ECU. I hope speedparts know what they're doing!


13th September 2002, 03:49 AM
I'm pretty sure that only VSS is part of the ECU. I think this was the innovation in VSS. When I was talking to Maptun (we got the software wrong and had to try again) they sent me screenshots of the utility they use to program the units (I think they wrote this themselves).
It clearly shows VSS as an option, with no other security options. The "VSS Number" is the serial number of the ECU. The difference between "M1" and "M2" is that one uses two lambda probes and the other only uses one. They sent me the wrong one because I sent a US-spec ECU and didn't give them the part number of my original one.

They should be able to look at the part number to determine whether it has VSS. If this is counter to what you told them, they should question it. No use giving you my part number to compare as mine will be different anyway because mine was fitted with a heat plate and the boost profile is different to compensate.

23rd September 2002, 10:50 AM
Went down to my local Saab dealer on saturday and asked about the security on mine, he asked to see my key fob and said I had a Thatcham 2 system. He said he could tell because the alarm fob is peardrop shaped! also that the thatcham 1 systems had squarer ones!?! But my system shows all the 'symptoms' you describe of the VSS so god knows. I recognise my key fob as being the same as top spec vectras and omegas of the same age(cringe- I used to work for a car leasing company)

exsaab tech
12th June 2003, 03:42 PM
Try norwich union direct, it was only 347 tpft. not bad especially when you take into account i am only 24 with 3 years no claims, driving a 2.3turbo. The AA quoted me 895 and that was with my staff discount.

13th June 2003, 07:46 PM
I've used NU Direct over a numer of years and have found them to be very competitive.


15th June 2003, 09:46 AM
Give adrian flux insurance a try - they do a 15% discount if you're in the saab owners club. When I had my C900 modded by trent saab (now approx 240 bhp!) I declared all the mods and took out a policy for TPFAT. The policy cost me 900, but considering I was 23 at the time it wasn't a bad proposition.

18th June 2003, 08:15 PM
Mmm, they didn't tell me about that. Still, Adrian Flux were by far the cheapest for me at 800 with all mods declared and 15000 miles a year.

8th July 2003, 06:16 AM
I pay 290 (with Norwich Union Direct) on my 1994 9000 CSE 2.0 LPT, I'm 24, cars parked on road (mostly), no accidents or convictions and have 5yrs no claims bonus. Plus I took the policy out when I was 23.

Plus the policy covers me Third Party Only on any car or motorcycle, and as I have a bike licence it's proved handy on occasions. Think I might have to get myself another bike.

A good price I think :lol:

11th July 2003, 07:34 PM
But that car is on a pretty low insurance rating compared to mine! Somewhat like comparing a Cossie to a basic Sapphire! Mine is 290BHP, with 17" wheels, Koni and Abbott suspension.

31st July 2003, 06:15 PM
Super cheap quote in from Frizells. They don't care what you have done to the car, so long as it is running the same engine. 532. Bargain!!

31st July 2003, 06:58 PM
Super cheap quote in from Frizells. They don't care what you have done to the car, so long as it is running the same engine. 532. Bargain!!

Do you have any contact details?
cos I'm paying 870 for mine!! - But I am 21 with a 9K Aero!